Tracking The Success Of The GI Bill

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Few know the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944.  But call it the “GI Bill” and most of us know that it’s the government’s way of repaying veterans by allowing them to go to college fulltime with their living expenses covered.

More than 760,000 military veterans have used the post-9/11 bill, and by the end of the 15-year program life span, estimates are that costs will have totaled $90 million.  Clearly retention and graduation rates are important to know, yet the problem is that metrics don’t exist for determining its success.

However, an executive order signed by President Obama has directed the federal departments of Education and Defense to start tracking graduation rates for Post 9/11 veteran students.

Libby Sander’s article in The Chronicle of Higher Education cites efforts that have been made. While numbers and costs are important, there should be an attempt to find out programmatically how we can help veterans complete degrees and be more ready for the workforce.

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